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Technical note: Evaluation of fine needle aspiration cytology for the diagnosis of fatty liver in dairy cattle

Melendez, P., Whitney, M., Williams, F., Pinedo, P., Manriquez, D., Moore, S.G., Lucy, M.C., Pithua, P., Poock, S.E.
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.5 pp. 4483-4490
Holstein, air drying, biopsy, colorimetry, cows, dairy cattle, fatty liver, fluorometry, glass, hepatocytes, histology, histopathology, liver, slaughterhouses, triacylglycerols
Fatty liver is a common condition affecting dairy cattle during the periparturient period, characterized by a pathological accumulation of triglycerides (TG) in the hepatocytes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic potential of fine needle aspiration cytology in fresh liver specimens using liver TG concentrations as a gold standard. Fifty-seven liver samples from Holstein cows were collected during processing at a slaughterhouse. Tissue and fine needle aspirate samples were obtained from the parietal upper portion of the caudate lobe. Two samples of liver tissue were collected with a 16 gauge × 15 cm biopsy needle for histological and TG concentration assessment. A third sample was collected for cytology using an 18 gauge × 5.08 cm needle. The contents of the needle were transferred to a glass slide, spread, and air-dried. Liver samples were assayed by colorimetry/fluorimetry to determine TG concentrations. Concentrations of TG <2% were considered normal. Histological and cytological evaluations were conducted by 2 different pathologists blind to the visual classification. Sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) were calculated. Cytology had a Se and Sp of 73 and 85%, respectively. Histopathology had a Se and Sp of 45.9 and 100%, respectively. The likelihood of having higher scores for histopathology and cytology increased as a function of liver TG content (mg/g).